9 Creeks Loop Mile Segment 5 20-25 Turning West to Denver

Trailhead: Del Mar Elwood Park (12000 E 6th Ave, Aurora, CO 80010)

Trailend: Eloise May Library (1471 S Parker Rd, Denver, CO 80231)

Highlights: Aurora Government Center, Expo Park

I am walking the 9 Creeks Loop which circles Denver for 42 miles. Still along the High Line Canal, 9 Creeks Loop Miles 20-25 leave Aurora’s Government Center and heads west toward Denver. For the first time, I have mountains in my view!

9 Creeks Loop Mile 20 Aurora Town Center

9creeks eatwalklearnI left Aurora Government Center on Alameda, and lucky for me, my friend and her 11-year old daughter joined me.  We jumped on the High Line Canal Trail at mile marker 54 which would be mile 20 of the 9 Creeks Loop and headed west. In just a short distance, we crossed over Sable Ave, which was poorly marked for cars looking for pedestrians. We braved the crossing and continued west. To our south sat the Aurora Town Center which hosts a Target and many shops, restaurants and vendors.

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9 Creeks Loop Mile 21 Crossing I-225

9creeks eatwalklearnThe Loop continues west under Interstate 225. Interstate 225 is a bypass in Denver connecting I-25 to I-70 on Denver’s east side through Aurora. Our goal was to get under it. Here at the intersection of Ellsworth and 2nd Ave is a new light rail station. Follow the sidewalk through the pedestrian crossing gates to safely cross under I-225, and continue westerly.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 22 Enjoying the Neighbors

9creeks eatwalklearnAs we continued west, houses stayed on our north and a golf course appeared on our south. Many duffers were out enjoying the nice summer air. Several of the homes on the north side of the Loop connected their yards to the Trail, doing nice landscaping and walkways to their backyard fences. I enjoyed seeing this connection, as it shows that these homeowners value their proximity to the Trail and feel ownership to it–a nice treat.

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9 Creeks Loop Mile 23 Approaching Expo Park

9creeks eatwalklearnIn no time, we arrived at Expo Park. Sadly, we ignored the very obvious historic High Line Canal sign and fell for a City of Aurora sign that pointed the Trail to the left. We journeyed down through Expo Park and realized a couple of miles in that we had jumped to the Westerly Creek Trail. I backtracked to Expo Park and continued southwesterly past Windsor Gardens.

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Follow the High Line Sign at Mile 23

I returned back to where I had gone wrong, jumping back onto the High Line Canal Trail, instead of the Westerly Creek.

9creeks eatwalklearn At Alameda into the entry to Expo Park, there is an historic sign for the High Line Canal and then a small sign from the City of Aurora that says “Trail” with an arrow. The “Trail” sign goes to the Westerly Creek Trail through Expo Park. The High Line Canal Trail is the pebble trail on the right which parallels the Westerly Creek and then veers off to the right, west. That’s the one to take.

Mile 24 Moving Along Expo Park

9creeks eatwalklearnThus, I finally found myself back on the correct trail, and this time my husband decided to join me. Pretty soon, the pebble trail continued along to High Line Canal Mile Marker 50, which for the 9 Creeks Loop would be mile 24. Back in the right place, our gait moved along at about 3 miles per hour with many more trail users than I’d had in the past. Now, bikers and walkers passed by frequently, and all were friendly with healthy, “Good mornings!” For this segment, I picked a morning block of time on the weekend, and it certainly made folks appear much more abundantly.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 25, Hello Denver

9creeks eatwalklearnWe crossed into Denver by crossing Havana. The Loop moves westerly for quite some time, and we enjoyed viewing mountains in the distance. Bicyclists popped up everywhere, and the signage became very attuned to the new population mix. No longer were horses allowed, and signs declaring the bicyclists should yield to pedestrians appeared often.

9 Creeks Loop Mile 25, Lush Vegetation and Trees

9creeks eatwalklearnWe continued along the Loop which turned from pebble to asphalt to concrete. As the Loop became more populous, so did the vegetation. Soon beautiful varieties of trees shaded us as we ambled along, and we could certainly see that water must have flown through the Canal much more recently, as vegetation was lush and fruiting. Trash cans served the users of the Loop as well. Again, we noticed that the residents along the Loop landscaped the space between the Loop and their backyard fences, showing a sense of pride and ownership with the Loop.

We jumped off the trail here at Del Mar Park, which has nice clean bathrooms in the summer and porta-potties in the winter. It’s a great place to meet your family for a barbecue or game of ball.

What did you like most about segment 5 of the 9 Creek Loop? Are you ready for segment 6?